My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Janelle Turner should have died. She was hit, head-on, by a pick up truck thundering out of nowhere. She should have died.
But she didn’t. Somebody heals her broken body, and starts her stopped heart. Somebody brings her back. In the process of discovering who – and why – they did this, Janelle uncovers the worst sort of problem. A sort of potentially world-ending problem. And she’s only got twenty three days to solve it.
I love how this is put together. Short, gaspy, 24-esque chapters with a time stamp and a punchy image before moving onto the next moment. I felt it worked a lot better in the second half of the book when Things Got Explained and Janelle had a bit of purpose rather than going ‘Hey-ho the world’s about to die but I’d better go to class first and crack on this hot looking lad next to me’. To be frank I struggled with the first half of the book. The second was amazing but the first just felt like wading through mud.
I think that first half confused me a lot about this book. It was heavy when I was expecting pace. It wandered off to explore X and Y when I was just wanting to know more about the whole world-ending thing. I appreciate there’s a level of world-building necessary but sometimes I felt the central urgency of the story was lost.
But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it. There were moments in the first (and pretty much all of the second) half which made me keep on turning those pages. Norris phrases her chapters in an almost serial format – finishing most of them with one of those moments of ‘well, now I’ve read that line I sort of really have to keep on going don’t I?’
Unravelling confused me greatly. I shifted from rampant ambivalence through to post-midnight page turning and back and forth a thousand times.
Note: the front cover above comes from the US edition. The front cover for the UK edition is ridiculous brilliant.